Of all of Serena Williams’ grand slam titles, the one that stands out the most might just be her Australian Open win in January. Shortly after cruising to her 23rd major championship, 35-year-old Williams revealed she did so while pregnant with her first child.
In a new Vanity Fair profile, Williams reveals that she learned about the pregnancy right before the Aussie open began. “Oh my God, this can’t be—I’ve got to play a tournament,” she said. “How am I going to play the Australian Open? I had planned on winning Wimbledon this year.”
Williams explains that because the pregnancy limited her usual superhuman endurance, she took it upon herself to win every match in two sets instead of three. Ho-hum. Oh, and if you’re curious about how the tennis demigod met and fell in love Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, the notoriously private Williams opens up about that, too.
But the real reason to cop Vanity Fair’s new issue is the stunning Annie Leibowitz-shot pictorial that captures a pregnant Williams in all her physical splendor.
The cover in particular is a total knockout, with a nude Williams paying homage to Demi Moore’s iconic Vanity Fair cover. The Williams cover is another instant classic.
Williams also used her emphatic return to the spotlight to respond to John McEnroe after he claimed that Williams would only be the 700th ranked player in the world if she played on the men’s tour.
“Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based,” Williams wrote on Twitter. “I’ve never played anyone ranked ‘there’ nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir”.
Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based.— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) June 26, 2017
I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) June 26, 2017
While appearing on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, McEnroe refused to apologize but admitted that he probably should have kept his mouth shut. “It wasn’t necessary. I didn’t know it would create controversy,” he said. “She’s the greatest female player that ever lived.“
She’s also officially the greatest Vanity Fair cover star that ever lived, too.